Category Archives: Labour

The great transformation in the global labour market

The global expansion of higher education allows work traditionally reserved for the West to be done more cheaply and just as well in emerging nations, write Phillip Brown and Hugh Lauder. The result is that the wages and working conditions of western employees no longer set the global benchmark.” (Source: Eurozine)

Brilliant must-read article in Eurozine on the global war for labour which will put even more pressure on Western wages, working conditions and employment.

The policy of ‘growing more opportunities’ is not going to work, so we need an alternative that depends on policies that reduce inequalities in opportunity and labour market outcomes. Education and the labour market ‘cannot compensate for society’ because they can’t mitigate the consequences of endemic inequalities in the competition for a livelihood, including access to elite schools, colleges and university, along with inherent inequalities in the hiring practices of major employers; they cannot compensate for gross inequalities in taxation, and the declining wage share that has been going to labour rather than capital – despite improvements in productivity – since well before the financial crisis; they cannot compensate for significant inequalities in the returns to human capital that can’t be explained by different levels of investment in education; and they cannot compensate for the social limits to growth that make it well-nigh impossible to increase social mobility without increasing middle class downward mobility.”

Climate Change And The Next U.S. Revolution

"Climate groups cannot view their issue as separate from other groups that are organizing against corporate power. The social movements that have emerged to battle austerity measures are natural allies, as are anti-war and labor activists. The climate solution will inevitably require revolutionary measures, which first requires that alliances and demands are put forward that unite Labor, working people in general, community, and student groups towards collective action." (Source: CounterCurrents)

Interesting article in CounterCurrents on the effects of recent freak weather on American beliefs in climate change and the long-term implications for the US political system which is now completely hijacked by corporate interests.

In order for humanity to survive climate change, the economy must be radically transformed; massive investments must be made in renewable energy, public transportation, and recycling, while dirty energy sources must be quickly swept into the dustbin of history. “

The Jobs Potential of a Shift towards a low-carbon Economy

The report argues that the impact of a transition towards a greener economy on labour markets will extend far beyond the creation of new green jobs, such as those related to renewable energy. This transition will create new opportunities for workers, but also new risks. The challenge for labour market and skill policies is to maximise the benefits for workers and help assure a fair sharing of adjustment costs, while also supporting broader green growth policies (e.g. by minimising skill bottlenecks).” (Source: OECD)

This good OECD report presented on 4 June also looks at the need to re-allocate workers from declining brown industries to growing green ones and demands serious reforms of the tax and benefit systems for workers.

Last week the ILO and UNEP presented a similar report called “Working towards sustainable development. Opportunities for decent work and social inclusion in a green economy”. That report sees a potential of between 15m and 60m additional jobs if the world would shift rapidly to a low-carbon future.

Unions challenge G20 finance ministers to unleash green jobs investment

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called on G20 Finance ministers to drive investment of at least 2% of GDP in the green economy in the wake of independent economic analysis forecasting the potential for green jobs growth.” (Source: ITUC)

From the report:

There is no choice but to transition to a greener economy, where social needs and environmental protection are at the heart of decision making. Economic research by the Millennium Institute forecast that investments of 2% of GDP in the green economy over each of the next 5 years in 12 countries could create up to 48 million new jobs.”

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